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I am so happy being married and living with my best friend. We adopted our first child, Ari, in 2011 through a domestic adoption and our second, Jude, in 2014.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Life is Good

I think most people are familiar with the company Life is Good. They offer products with different pictures/scenes on them that always seem to be so happy, positive, adventerous, or relaxing. At least those are the things I feel when I look at them. It's really cute stuff and I've always loved it.

Well, the last week has just been a "Life is Good" kind of week. We had a lot going on the whole time, but it was all so much fun. We went to some new places we'd always wanted to go and we spent lots of time with great, cherished friends.

Every day since Thursday has just been the kind of day where you want to sit back and cherish every minute. It was packed full of the kind of moments that make you feel so happy, loved, and blessed. It was times that I hope I never forget.

Warning: Get ready for picture overload!

It all started with Thursday night at Josh's Sno Shack with these wonderful people. So yummy!

Oh yeah, it's that good!

Friday night we had great fun with these people eating some yummy food and playing fun games.

Saturday Morning Breakfast with the hubs! Old School Bagel, one of our favorites. I didn't think to take a picture until I was done. But trust me, my French Toast bagel was delicious!

After breakfast, we headed over to the Farmers Market. That was a first for us and we loved it! We're already planning on going back this Saturday.

Tons of yummy fresh produce everywhere.

Free wine tasting!

Live music with cute kids dancing.

Fresh flowers. Such a great place!

After that we took our sweet Rollie to the dog park. Another first for us! She definitely loved it.

The hubs and Rollie running around the park.

Making some friends via a butt-sniffing train!

Saturday evening was spent with these great people. Everyone even got babysitters, so it was just the adults for the night! These people have survived so many ups and downs together for almost 10 years. I am so blessed to know all of them and call them my closest friends.

Breakfast at Panera on Sunday morning before heading to church.

Sunday lunch with our besties. The hubs was encouraging Ryland to drum everywhere with his straws. His parents were thrilled! haha!

Late Sunday night the hubs and I, for some reason, both didn't feel like being at home. So where do you go at 9:30 at night? IHOP, of course! It was nice to just sit and talk while sipping on some coffee.

Monday was spent hanging out in Muskogee with a bunch of people. Just lots of swimming and eating good food! This was our caravan on the way.

Notice how I have my arms wrapped around myself. The pool water was freezing!!

Such a cutie. He was freezing too, but still didn't wanna get out of the water!

And today, to wrap these great days up, the hubs brought me a yummy lunch from Pizza Depot!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Song

"I Can Only Imagine" Mercy Me

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine


I can only imagine [x2]

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bleeding Hearts Ministries

I don't have much to update on the actual adoption front. The birthmom that last looked at our profile ended up not going to her doctor's appointment, so the worker from our agency wasn't able to meet with her. The worker did ask her what she thought of our profile and she casually replied, "Oh, I haven't even really looked at it yet..." Sooo... haha! The agency said this might be another one that's the type to call once she's had the baby at the hospital. They think she will go through with her plan for adoption, but she's not really in a rush to make any decisions. They said we would get a call if she ever tells them anything concrete.

I do, however, have some news to share that I think is pretty exciting ! We have recently partnered up with a non-profit organization called Bleeding Hearts Ministries to help us raise money for our adoption. This is a great organization with a vision to "address the basic needs of children who are victims of social inequality."

Bleeding Hearts heard about our desire to adopt and thought that this process really fit into their personal mission plan. Their website kindly had this to say about us: "They are saving a child from an unknown future and bringing them into their home where they will encounter the love of Jesus and the transforming power of God."

So now we are in fundraising mode with this company! We have some events we are planning right now that are going to be really great. I will be sure to post the details when they're ready.

If you feel compelled at all to make a tax-deductible donation, please do so. Every little bit helps. Know that you are contributing to them helping other couples adopt in the future and also contributing to their goals of helping impoverished children in our community. You can go to their website here to make a donation and learn more about them. Also, please go to their Facebook page here and "like" them. That's something simple we can all do to help get their name out there and known.

If you can think of any other ways, please help me spread the word about this great, great organization. The dreams and goals they have for the future of children is simply beautiful. We are humbled and honored to be working with them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Puzzle Update - Week 7

In Week 7 we sold 2 puzzle pieces! Which means we broke the 200 mark and have sold a total of 201 pieces. Woohoo!

I know 2 pieces in a week doesn't sound like a lot, but we truly are grateful for every piece we get to put together. I won't lie, sometimes the slow weeks can be discouraging. But we do know that God will give us the money we need, when we need it. So again, thank you to everyone who has had the desire to help some. We appreciate it so much.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For the Love of Geocaching

On Saturday the hubs and I had the pleasure of going geocaching with my brother and sister-in-law. If you don't know what that is, here's an explanation from the geocaching website: "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location." Or as some people like to say, "I use multi-million dollar satellites to find tupperware in the woods. What's your hobby?" haha!

But anway . . . my brother and sister-in-law got us into geocaching about a year ago. It's something that we all really enjoy doing. Geocaching gets you out of the house and takes you to places you might not have even realized was right around you. Pretty cool stuff.

This was the first time we've all gone out and done it together in quite a while. We walked a 5 mile walking/biking trail for about three hours and found six caches. It was a very lovely and active Saturday afternoon for us!

Heading out!

Going off the trail to find the first cache.

Sweet Niece #3 came along with us.

Such pretty scenes all around us.

We couldn't resist taking pictures on the cute bridge!

Found one!

Deep in the brush to find our last cache.

And, I got the sunburn of the year during our little outing. I thought it was gonna be a chilly day, so I didn't even think about sunscreen. But I have definitely learned my lesson! If I'm going to be outside for more than 20 minutes, sunscreen will be going on.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Song

"God of This City" Chris Tomlin

[Verse 1]
You're the God of this City
You're the King of these people
You're the Lord of this nation
You are

[Verse 2]
You're the Light in this darkness
You're the Hope to the hopeless
You're the Peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

[Verse 1]

[Verse 2]

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Here We Go Again

Well, yesterday afternoon I got a call from our adoption agency. Totally unexpected since, as far as I knew, we were just back to trying to get all of the legal stuff completed. But apparently there's been some more stuff going on behind the scenes that we weren't aware of!

The phone call was to tell me that our profile had just been dropped off with a birthmom who's due July 2nd with a boy. The agency worker I was talking to said she will be shown two other families profiles, but she felt pretty good about our chances. She's meeting with the birthmom again on Tuesday and said she will call me with more details then.

As I've said before, nothing is ever 100% with adoption until all of the legal requirements are actually 100% completed. Therefore, we're not counting on anything coming from this situation either. We'll just, once again, sit back, wait, and pray for God's will to be done. :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Puzzle Update - Week 6

In Week 6 we sold 34 puzzle pieces! That makes for 199 pieces put together total. And, we finished the border! Woohoo! That seriously makes me really happy. Lame, I know. ;) Only 808 pieces to go!

And I know I say it a lot, but truly. . .thank you everyone for all of the support with this. It means so much to us. We're really enjoying getting to work on it. We have the puzzle setup in our nursery and it's been so much fun to just hangout and spend some time in there together each evening.

Please know that every time after we put a set of pieces together, we say a prayer over the names that have been added to the puzzle. Each one of you has blessed us so much with your genorosity and we want to bless you back in any way we can. Thank you again for all of the continued love and support!

That bottom section is everything we got done this week.

The completed border!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Adoption Profile

As I've mentioned before, as part of our adoption process, we had to make an adoption profile. It's really just a book that gives some basic info about us. Who we are, our hobbies, what our life is like, etc. Some people hand make theirs (aka, an actual scrapbook), but I'm not patient enough for that. Plus, we had to have three copies, so there's no way I was gonna try to duplicate an actual scrapbook that many times. I ended up making a digital photo book with the Apple software, iPhoto.

I thought about not sharing this with everyone, because it can be pretty personal. But, before I made our book I did a lot of research and found some people who had posted theirs online. It was really helpful to actually see one and not just read about it. Also, I've made a promise to myself to be completely open and honest about this journey so that people can learn about it as much as possible. And, who knows, you might even get to learn some things about us you didn't know!

So here you go. . .here is our adoption profile or adoption photo book that birthmothers will look through. The images of the book aren't the greatest, but you get the idea. You can click on the pictures to see them bigger. I'll also post the text for each page under the image . Enjoy!


Page 1 - Dear Expectant Parent Letter (This is kinda long, so if you wanna read it just click on the image.)

Page 2 - About Us
We met in 2005 through a mutual friend and began dating just two weeks later. We then went to college together at Oklahoma Christian University. In 2007, after two years of dating, Mike proposed to Vanessa and the wedding plans began! We were married on June 14, 2008. In May of 2009 we graduated from college and then moved closer to family to begin a new chapter of our lives.

We both love making each other laugh and try to enjoy all the little moments that life has to offer. Some of the activities we like doing together are geocaching, running, going to the movies, watching sports, and getting up early for Saturday morning breakfast. We also love spending time with our family and friends as often as we can.

Page 3 - About Us, cont.

Page 4 - About Vanessa (written by Mike)
Vanessa is a very gentle and loving person. She loves to laugh her way through life, which is great because her laughter is very contagious! She is so much fun to be around and can light up a room with her smile.

She likes baking, making new crafts, reading, and snuggling with her pets.

Vanessa’s heart longs to be a mother. When I see her interact with children, I can tell she’s going to be a great mom. I can’t wait to raise a family with my best friend.

Page 5 - Vanessa's Family
Vanessa’s parents are Van and Jeanne and they have been married for 32 years. She has two older brothers, Jon and Michael. Jon and his wife, Amanda, have been married for 5 years. Michael and his wife, Ashlee, have been married for 6 years and have four children, three girls and a boy.

Everyone lives in the same general area, so we get together as a family often. We love playing board games and have lots of friendly competition. There is always a lot of fun and laughter when we’re together.

Page 6 - About Mike (written by Vanessa)
Mike is one of the most kind and compassionate people I know. He has a heart for others and looks out for the best interest of those around him. He is very social and outgoing and loves hanging out with family and friends.

His hobbies include sports, grilling, singing, and keeping up with the latest technology.

Mike loves children and is so ready to be a dad. He is a favorite playmate of many of our friends’ kids. I’m sure our new baby boy or girl will have their daddy wrapped around their little finger from the moment they arrive!

Page 7 - Mike's Family
Mike’s parents are Wes and Shirley and they have been married for 35 years. He has two older brothers, Matt and Mitch.

Wes and Shirley’s house is out in the country, so it’s nice to go out there and enjoy a slower pace of life. Mike’s mom is a great cook and is always spoiling us with delicious meals, especially during the holidays. We always enjoy going to their house to just visit, relax, and unwind.

Page 8 - Our Home
We bought our first house in January of 2010. The day we moved also happened to be the day of a huge snowstorm! We have some wonderful friends and family who helped us out anyway. It definitely made a great memory!

We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. The backyard is large, has a full privacy fence, and is great to play in! We have a play area in our living room already filled with lots of fun toys. The baby’s room has been picked out and we have started filling it with things such as bedding, boy and girl clothes, and toys.

We love the neighborhood we live in! There is a good mixture of older couples and young families in our neighborhood. On a nice afternoon you will almost always see kids outside playing basketball, football, or riding their bikes around.

Our home is a place where we hope others always feel comfortable and welcome. We can’t wait to bring a baby there and make it their home too. We look forward to birthday parties, Christmas mornings, Easter egg hunts, and lots of other gatherings with family and friends.

Page 9 - Our Home, cont.

Page 10 - Our Pets
We have two cats, a boy and a girl, named Hoops and YoYo. We found them as strays and took them in as our first pets. They are declawed and very gentle. You can usually find them snuggling together, with the dog, or with us.

We also have a dog named Rollie. We went to Petsmart on a Saturday to get some things for the cats, saw Rollie there, and fell in love! She is very good with the cats and with kids. She’s a sweetheart who loves to go for walks and be with us, wherever we are.

Page 11 - Our Pets, cont.

Page 12 - Our Wonderful Friends
We are very blessed to have wonderful friends in our life. We have been a part of a small group from church for over four years and those people have become our core group of friends. They are all very kind, loving, and supportive.

We also are good friends with a lot of our own family members and stay in-touch with friends from college.

Everyone is excited about us becoming parents and can’t wait to spoil the new little one that comes into our lives!

Page 13 - Our Wonderful Friends, cont.

Page 14 - The Kids In Our Life
A lot of our friends and family have young children themselves. We love and adore every one of them! They always add lots of spunk and activity to our life.

We get to babysit a lot of these sweet kids often. One of our favorite parts of babysitting is the nighttime routine to get ready for bed...brushing teeth, reading books, and saying prayers. We always enjoy spending our evenings with them.

As previously mentioned, we have three nieces and one nephew. In our close group of friends there are three boys and two girls. They all can’t wait to have a new playmate around!

Page 15 - The Kids In Our Life, cont.

Page 16 - Our Life As Parents
We are both so excited and ready to be parents! We look forward to sharing our lives with a new child and extending all of our love to them. Any child we parent will be raised in a loving, Christian home through our faith in the Lord and our involvement at church. We know that there will be a lot of diaper changes, stressful days, and sleepless nights, but we look forward to these challenges, as well as all the wonderful changes that parenthood will bring.

Page 17 - Our Life With You
We know that all adoption placements are different. There is not one set method that will work for everyone. We would like to support you in the level of openness that you are most comfortable with. In the years to come, we would love to be able to offer you the peace of mind to know that your child is happy, loved, and thriving.

Page 18 - Thank you again for taking the time to look at our profile.

Page 19 - You are in our daily thoughts and prayers. God Bless!